“The misundersTanding is To ignore The size sTandard. if The biggesT is The besT, use iT, buT if There is a dog of equal qualiTy which meeTs The size sTandard, use iT.”
them use their nose in barn hunts. Bring them on hikes and/or long walks. Do not let them become couch pota- toes and do not, ever, let them be in charge. A Griff can take over in a heartbeat and a spoiled Griff, like any dog, is not a pretty picture.
“slicks”. These latter resemble GSPs more than Griffs. Not a good thing!
6. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? LG: I think new judges misunderstand several things about this breed. As the former Judges Ed Coordinator and Chair, I always advised to put up the best dog in the judge’s opinion. If it’s the “big one”, so be it. The misun- derstanding is to ignore the size standard. If the biggest is the best, use it, but if there is a dog of equal quality which meets the size standard, use it. Another misun- derstanding is re: the coat. The breed should not be over groomed. Much of the Griff’s charm is the result of its “bed head” appearance—neatened, bathed, combed/ brushed, appropriately trimmed. Period. And the coat should not be soft. Please. No matter how good it can be made to look, if it’s not correct, it won’t “throw” correct. 7. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? LG: What I’d like to share about this breed would be an entire article, and I’m sure that’s not your intent. To judges: Please consider the dog’s purpose when award- ing. The standard is there for a reason and use your best judgment. To owners: Give these dogs the opportunity to be the best they can be. Give them limits and jobs (if not hunted), so they can be the best companions and friends possible. Use their minds, their innate talents and their hearts! 8. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? LG: OMG, as they say. I am the world’s worst handler, so the funniest thing I’ve experienced at a dog show involves... me. This latter doesn’t even involve my very first show where I entered the ring with a dog lead in my left hand and my purse in my right. Or asking the judge, who had just awarded my puppy and me a five point major, “Are you sure?” I guess it’s the time I wore thigh high stock- ings in the ring and as I gaited my Dandies, they began to roll down. I finished the round with my legs together from hips to knees. (At least it’s not an underwear story. I don’t actually have one of those.)
3. Describe the breed in three words. LG: Unkempt, goofy and joyous.
4. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? LG: Exaggeration of traits is an easy trend. I think size, if considered a “trait”, is an issue. There are some great Griffs that are, in my opinion, too large. Those dogs are rewarded and, therefore, bred to. So, oversized dogs become the norm. Again, keeping in mind the dog’s origi- nal purpose, the latter is a problem. Also, softer more “groomable” coats are becoming prevalent. Think again of function as opposed to pretty. A soft coat is no help in the field and, very fortunately, this breed still retains its original purpose and is shown frequently during the same period. So, please folks... reduce size and work toward coarser coats. 5. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are bet- ter now than they were when you first started judg- ing? Why or why not? DB: Over grooming of the coat and—horrors—some clipping. The breed is much, much better than when I started judging them. There is more consistency to the look of the breed—proportions especially. When I started, you would see leggy GWP type and short, dumpy legged dogs. Breeders are doing a good job on structure and soundness of movement, which goes with that. LG: I only started judging 4 years ago, so I don’t think I can answer this question from a judging standpoint. From a breeding standpoint, I think Griffs, in large part, still resemble the “progenitors”, the gaggle of Griffs that were used in developing the breed. I think the quality of what is being bred is still high, but among those few who still breed only for field or only for the pet market (fortunately a rarity), it is compromised to a degree. Some who breed for field only are producing what I consider
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